Looking for Meaning Amidst the Stars, Bars and Guitars
Five shows to dissolve existential angst
By August March
Indeed, this week did seem unreal to August March. A windy middle of April brought difficult news: The critical injury of a close friend left March feeling disoriented and detached. By now Orion was setting early and so he spent evenings watching the constellation head for the horizon while listening to Steely Dan and wondering, “What the fuck?” He was convinced that music and star light would prevent the cruelty of the month from overtaking him. Of course it helped that there were some cray shows coming up. Here are the ones he considered attending as he pondered imponderable things and continued to cuss and shake his fist at the heavens.
Puscifer, a band whose name and work (a new album called Money $hot? Really dude?) are filled to the brim with witty allusions and word play, perform at Popejoy Hall (1 University of New Mexico) on Thursday, April 28. And before this preview continues, it's important to note that the writer is no fan of Maynard James Keenan and generally finds his output to be ponderous and impenetrable. That said, Tool's Ænema is a decent rock album but doesn't quite deserve to be called prog, while A Perfect Circle's Emotive seemed more a point of plateau than a musical movement forward. In any case the music Keenan produces as Puscifer is complex, richly melodic and challenging … yet somehow sterile. You can get a load of what Puscifer intends when they land on UNM campus and invade Popejoy beginning at 7:30pm. For between $45-250 it should be a hellacious, if all together elephantine, experience.
Black Mountain, another uncommonly exceptional Northwestern sound-generating unit, play Launchpad (618 Central SW) on Wednesday, May 4. A collection of uncompromising (and apparently shoe eschewing) rocanrol provocateurs whose existence on the astral plain is contingent on heavily stylized and gravitationally realized stoner music, they're currently touring on the strength of their latest release, IV. As noted in the Alibi Sonic Reducer aimed at enlisting adherents to the band's restless, West-Coast super-rock pronunciations, IV is an album that supposes intervening genres never existed, allowing a thoroughly advanced form of hard, album-oriented rock to evolve and proliferate in the geographical area adjacent to the roaring Pacific Ocean. As a quintet, Black Mountain has the chops and the wherewithal to override rock's latter day roller coaster ride; their show at Launchpad promises to be among the best concerts happening in Dirt City this spring. White Hills open. With tickets priced to move at $15, there really is no reasonable excuse for missing this show, unless your David Lynch box set is scheduled to arrive that evening via special delivery—which may be problematic at my household, but go ahead and enjoy this blast from the future on my behalf as I try to divine meaning from the phrase “lunch is ready.” The ritual begins at 9pm.
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